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You might be considering switching to electric lawnmowers as a quieter and more environmentally friendly solution. However, electric mowers have some specific requirements you should be aware of.
An electric corded lawnmower typically draws between 6 and 12 amps from a standard outlet. The amp rating helps you understand your mower’s power and what kind of wire gauge to get. On the other hand, Cordless mowers have batteries that can provide 18 amps per hour on average.
In the rest of this article, I will explain more about the amp requirement of electric lawnmowers. Additionally, you can learn more about your lawn mower, including power requirements and what to look for in an electric mower.
How Many Amps Should an Electric Lawn Mower Have?
Understandably, electric lawn mowers need to draw power from an outlet to function. However, the amount of power that they need to draw is limited and depends on the type of lawn mower you’re looking for.
According to US regulations, electric lawnmowers can’t draw more than 15 amps from an outlet (source).
This is more of a theoretical limit set by regulations; typical electric mowers draw somewhere between 6 and 12 amps from standard outlets, with most mowers having an amp rating of around 10.
Why the Amp Rating of Your Lawn Mower Matters
The amp rating indicates how powerful your electric mower can be; a 12 amp mower can be used to cut tall and tough grass, while a 6 amp one would not do a good job in this case. You can find out the amp rating of your lawn mower before buying it; it’s usually written somewhere visible, like a sticker on top of the mower or in the user’s manual.
You need to know the amp rating of your electric lawn mower because it helps you decide what gauge or type of extension cord is suitable for your mower to work properly.
The more amps your mower uses, the more power the extension cord will have to withstand. The general rule is that the higher the power of the mower, the lower the wire gauge number that you need.
For instance, for a mower with a low amp rating, like 6, you might get by with a 16 gauge extension cord (link to Amazon), while for another mower with a higher amp rating–say, 12–you should get a lower number.
The distance from the power outlet also plays a role. The longer the length the current has to travel, the lower should be the number on the wire gauge. Simply put, a low-number gauge can handle more power and longer distances.
To better understand this, read my article on choosing the proper gauge and type of extension cord for a 13 amp mower.
How Much Power Can Your Electric Lawn Mower Use?
In terms of power, an electric lawn mower typically uses between 700 and 1500 watts of electricity per hour, with the majority using around 1000 (source). The wattage of your electric lawn mower is essential to know because it can give you an idea of how much you’re going to pay in energy bills.
You can ask about the wattage of your lawn mower prior to buying it or search for it in the user’s manual or the manufacturer’s website. Naturally, the higher the energy usage, the more it’s going to cost you to mow your lawn.
Knowing the number of amps a lawn mower typically should have, the power it can use, and the above rules about wire gauges and distance help you make an informed decision.
What About Cordless Electric Mowers?
If you want to use an electric lawn mower but don’t want to be limited by a cord everywhere, you may opt for mowers that use rechargeable batteries. Cordless mowers use batteries to work without burning gas or having a power outlet nearby.
The most important advantage of cordless mowers is the fact that they give you improved mobility and a wider range in your mowing. (See Gas vs Electric: 6 Reasons To Use Battery-Powered Yard Tools).
The power that the batteries of these mowers produce ranges between 20 and 120 volts (source). Depending on how long you plan to mow your lawn and what kind of grass or weed you want, you can decide on the appropriate voltage.
Generally, for greater performance, especially cutting tougher grass, you may need a voltage over 70.
However, since the power stored in batteries is finite, you need to recharge the batteries once in a while. You may even have to stop in the middle of mowing if the battery’s run out.
A recharge may require one or two hours, or even more, if the battery is older. The amp hour rating of a typical lawn mower battery is around 18Ah, meaning that it can provide 18 amps of current for one hour.
A cordless electric lawn mower is a good choice if you want better range and mobility while mowing or if you don’t have access to any power outlets. The batteries need recharging, but if you wish, you can keep spare batteries so that you can continue mowing even if your mower’s battery runs out of power.
What To Consider When Looking for an Electric Lawn Mower
If you’re looking for an electric lawn mower but don’t know where to start, it would be helpful to know a few aspects you need to consider in the first place (source).
- Corded or cordless. As I explained above, take into account the size of your lawn and the availability of outlets.
- Deck width. The larger the size of your lawn, the bigger the mower should be so that you can mow your lawn more quickly.
- Material. A deck made of plastic can make the mower lighter, but a metal deck will last longer and withstand every kind of weather.
- Features. You can decide if you want larger wheels, a more extensive range of adjustable heights, and other accessories that can improve your lawn mowing experience.
When searching for an electric mower, you should keep in mind some general stats that can help you make an informed decision. Generally, an electric mower should have between 6 and 12 amps and use between 700 and 1500 watts of electricity in an hour.
Other important aspects to consider would be going corded or cordless, the size of the deck, the material of the deck, and the features of the mower.